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Messages - ruthven
« on: April 25, 2013, 09:26 PM »
Is Ray Carlsen a member here (or could you PM me his email address)? I live in Maine (USA) and it would be GREAT to have a contact that fixes Commodore stuff!--I notice in my last post about my broken 1571 drive that you had mentioned he fixes those as well...(!) Hope he's not too far from me...
As for the C128 itself, I'll probably hold off on sending it to Ray until I first acquire another working system that will hopefully help me isolate the problem with my current one.
« on: April 23, 2013, 07:11 AM »
Well, that's good to know that you don't have humidity issues with your equipment... gives me some hope.
Here's the thing: someday I plan on getting this thing fixed somehow or getting another C128 system altogether... and I'd like to take it back to that location this summer (and hopefully feel safe about doing so). I've had bad luck bringing my Commodore stuff to camp it seems... one year a drive broke, the next year my other drive and then the CPU itself!
Anyway, I suspect it's just the power supply but I'm hesitant to buy a replacement when the machine itself could be dead. Probably better to replace the whole system--then I could use the power supply from the known working system to test mine and if it still works I could consider it a backup. Unfortunately I just lost a bid to an auction for a working C128 system w/power supply last night... I bid up to $66 (which at first I was thinking was a bit pricey), but times have changed since I got my original system for $30 it would seem... now thinking about it, I really wish I bid up to $100 for that--I REALLY miss using my Commodore!
« on: April 22, 2013, 05:08 AM »
Been awhile since I last posted--I think I was trying to get some help fixing a faulty 1571 drive, then my one last working 1541 drive bit the dust. This was immediately after I had moved my entire C128 setup to my "summer retreat" where I was really looking forward to getting back into a programming project. So I was really bummed out; not being able to load any games or save any programs makes a C128 rather useless, huh? (maybe I should have resorted to the Datasette!) Anyway, after leaving the C128 unattended in it's new location for a few months, something even worse happened... I went to turn it on just to make sure it was still ok (I guess I must have had a bad hunch) and for the first time, it no longer powers on! I'm really not sure what could have caused this--exposure to humidity perhaps? The room was not air-conditioned and occasionally got rather warm that summer. And I didn't take it out until Fall where it was getting fairly cold in that room at night. Normally I wouldn't be too concerned with this, especially where it wasn't ever in use any of that time. God knows how many excruciatingly hot summer days with nasty humidity my equipment has seen over the years, where it was 95+ degrees upstairs in my bedroom where the C128 normally resides... never a problem before--I'd just usually wait for more comfortable atmospheric conditions before putting my equipment into regular use. Maybe I should have let the C128 climatize in a warmer environment for a bit before testing it that one day.
Anyway, I was hoping it might be the fuse in the power supply--I seem to remember the C128 not powering up when I first got it until I switched out the fuse. Well, the fuse looked alright, I brought it down to the shop anyway, they tested it and told me it was still good. So perhaps the power supply is just dead?
I guess my question to you guys would be: given the fact it was in idle storage in hot/humid conditions for a couple months and now just doesn't work, is it more likely that the C128 itself has bit the dust, or perhaps just the power supply??
« on: June 05, 2012, 01:28 AM »
Thanks. I'm going to stray off topic just slightly here while we're on the subject of faulty drives. I have a 1541 drive that died on me 2 summers ago when I brought it to camp (actually, this 1571 drive I just got was going to be it's long awaited replacement). The 1541 just died on me in the middle of playing some game--I reset the computer but was no longer able to get it to even display the directory of any disk and it made a similar kind of "head banging" noise. I've read that 1541 drives are notorius for going out of alignment, mainly due to no track zero detection. Apparently there was some "homebrew" remedy including software with some sort of calibration disk. I found the following in a wikipedia article:
There were at least one or two "home remedy" software products on the market during the heyday of the 1541 drive and Commodore 64 computer that could be used to re-align the drive yourself and save a costly trip to a repair center and down time. They generally consisted of a software program and a calibration disk. What the user would do is remove the drive from its case and then loosen the screws holding the stepper motor that moved the head. Then with the calibration disk in the drive gently turn the stepper motor back and forth until the program showed a good alignment. The screws were then tightened and the drive put back into its case. The real problem actually was that the sprocket which moved the head would slip on the stepper motor shaft after repeated hammering and this would put the drive gradually out of alignment.
Does anybody know anything about these "calibration disks"--I'm wondering what they are exactly and where I might get one, or if I could use any 5.25" disk and the software--speaking of which, does anyone know where I could find such software in .D64 format? I'm hoping this might help me resurrect my old 1541 drive; probably won't help much in the case of my 1571, but I figure I might as well work on both drives now since the tool set is coming out invariably.
« on: June 04, 2012, 05:46 AM »
OPEN 15,8,15,"I0:":CLOSE 15
Tried that command in both C128/C64 mode--the drive makes those quick clicking noises and then just flashes green continuously (like before). I am still unable to read the directory or access any files. Also I noticed that I can't hear the disk spinning inside the drive (as compared to my 1541 drive)--I only hear the initial click sounds. I wonder if the mechanism is misaligned or broken. Especially after reading article 429 about how it can be damaged easily in transit. Another weird thing I noticed is that the drive attempts to spin up (or makes some kind of noise) when I insert a disk even just part way into the drive--also it makes this noise when I remove the disk from the drive (which seemed especially odd)--is this normal for a 1571 drive??
Seems in any case I'm going to have to open this thing up, which I am not looking forward to.
Another possibility is that the 1571 has the old DOS ROM. If so, the old ROM will have a hard time figuring out 1541 single-sided mode and 1571 double-sided mode. It will become confused and give confused/corrupted directories. To correct the problem, you'd have to put in a newer, upgrade ROM or JiffyDOS.
What was the old DOS ROM used for?--was this so that the 1571 could be used on older CBM machines or even old PC MS-DOS machines? Just seems strange to me that the drive would have a ROM that was incompatible with it's native system/disks...
« on: June 02, 2012, 08:18 AM »
So I took a chance and bought an untested 1571 disk drive... and it doesn't seem to work.
When I try to read the directory of any disk, it just clicks in rapid succession, then the green light repeatedly flashes. No directory is displayed, nor can I load anything. In C64 mode, when trying to LOAD "$", I get "file not found" and the green light flashes away. I have the dip switches both flipped up (for device #8) and I'm using the same cord to connect to the C128 that used to connect my 1541--these drive cords are the same aren't they? I also tried plugging that cord into both ports on the disk drive (same results).
So is it toast? Anything I could possibly do to fix it (if I were to open it up)? Any help appreciated--thanks!
« on: June 02, 2012, 02:01 AM »
Ok, guess I was WAY OFF--no surprise really! Thanks for taking the time to explain it all. That really clears things up.
Yeah, you are in for a lot of working getting a bitmap program working on the C64. In my opinion, the only practical ways to do this are with a BASIC language extension or by writing the program in assembly language.
Hmm, I'm starting to see that now... didn't think it would be this hard comparitively. Now I know why I got a C128 in the first place! Maybe I should just stick with BASIC 7 for now...
BSAVE (filename),B15,P57344 TO P65333
That will only save garbage onto disk (actually part of the KERNAL ROM).
Yeah, that's about what it looked like when I tried BLOADing it back in BASIC 7!
If you created your bitmap with GRAPHIC 1 in C128 mode, then you need to set the VIC to hi-res graphics in C64 mode.
You should post the code you are using in C64 mode to setup the graphics mode. That way we can see if things are right.
Yeah, I thought I'd have to set the graphics mode in BASIC 2, only I have no idea how to do it--I merely got the background, border and foreground colors set with POKE statements. So I don't really have any code worth posting in this regard. It's okay though--I'm thinking now maybe I should just forget about doing this in BASIC 2 and concentrate on the C128 version. My BASIC is just not up to snuff for this. And I had a look at sprite programming in the C64 manual and it was not encouraging!
« on: June 01, 2012, 10:48 AM »
Thanks for pointing me in the right direction--I had a look at some web article about BLOADing on the C64 that was totally beyond me... but unfortunately I still seem to be in over my head. Bear with me... I should start by saying that I really don't understand the above code for BSAVEing/BLOADing--I just plugged it in at the end of my code verbatim and it worked. In particular, I don't know what the P8192 TO P16181 is referring to--I just assumed it was the screen data. When you suggest using 57344, do you mean I should type the command:
BSAVE (filename),B15,P57344 TO P65333
I got the second number (65333) by adding 7989 to 57344 (this is the difference between 16181 and 8192, the addresses used in the above example)--is this correct?--perhaps this shows just how little I know about what I'm trying to do here
Also I should mention that it seems I don't need to BSAVE/BLOAD the color data--my program is in standard bitmap mode and after BLOADing the graphics, they get drawn in whatever color I have set to the foreground.
Oh, and on the C64 end--do I need to be in a certain graphical mode (as the C128 program that creates the picture and BSAVEs it goes to bitmap mode (GRAPHIC 1))? Sorry... didn't realize quite what I was getting in to here--forgot how cryptic BASIC 2.0 can be when you take some of those simple BASIC 7 commands (like GRAPHIC) for granted.
So here's what I ended up doing: I had my BASIC 7 program BSAVE the graphics to "(filename)",B15,P57344 TO P65333. Then in BASIC 2, I setup my program to first clear the screen, then change the background/border and foreground colors to the proper ones by POKEing the appropriate addresses. Then I attempted to have it load the graphics by having the next line of code go: LOAD "filename",U,1. The computer then tries to load the file, but the drive just spins endlessly, like it's stuck in a loop. So I've definitely got something wrong--probably a bunch of things, huh?
« on: May 30, 2012, 07:48 AM »
Sorry for resurrecting such an old post... I gave this a shot and actually found it quite useful in reloading graphics I had drawn with a series of DRAW and BOX statements. The GUI interface I've drawn is so complex that it takes at least 10-15 seconds to render on FAST mode. But since I've BSAVEd the result of that tedious program, I can BLOAD it back in a split second which is MUCH BETTER!
(not to mention it takes 2 lines of code instead of hundreds)
Now maybe this is a long shot or just a ridiculous question, but is there any way to load this bitmap data in BASIC 2.0 (on a C64)? I ask because I'd ultimately like to make my program compatible on both machines. Actually, the only reason I started it in BASIC 7 was for the simplified graphic commands and now that I've got the graphical data stored, I was hoping it might be possible...(?) though I could not find any mention of BLOAD in the C64 User's Guide...
« on: May 30, 2012, 01:52 AM »
At the end of compilation, it is in memory ready to run (or save). So be sure to DSAVE the compiled program, and then of course RUN to test that it works
Ahh, that clears things up, thanks. Unfortunately my code still compiles errors in PETSpeed--it gives me an error message both when trying to DSAVE or RUN. Haven't gone through the debugging process yet to see what exactly is hanging it up. That's ok though, I'm happy with Data Becker for now.
Hmmm, maybe this is a stupid question to ask, but could the compiler be NTSC or PAL specific?
Actually, I hadn't even thought of that... could well be...
I didnt' ask the right question I think, is your target machine an NTSC version or PAL version?
My C128 is an NTSC machine. My version of Blitz 128 is not German--or it's in English at least, but could still be a PAL version I suppose. I haven't checked this in an emulator yet, mainly because it's such a pain to connect my 1541 to a PC for transfers due to my claustrophobic setup! That's the next thing I'll try though.
However it seems NTSC/PAL differences could show up in SOUND and PLAY statements, depending on how the compiler implements them.
This is interesting to me considering the nature of my program, being a sort of GUI control for the SID. For what I'm doing, I've found that POKEing the appropriate addresses works better than using PLAY/SOUND/etc., so hopefully I'll be fine there.
« on: May 25, 2012, 10:18 PM »
Ok, got busy for a couple days there but finally got a chance to try this stuff last night.
Ruthven, look at my first post in this thread. Near the bottom, just above my signature you should see a D64 attached.
Thanks. I must not have been logged in when I first saw your reply--seems your signature only shows up when I'm logged in. So I put both Data Becker and PETSpeed to disk and tried them out on my program. Data Becker produced a working program that was at least twice as fast as the original BASIC program.
Unfortunately PETSpeed didn't work for my program. It took a while to compile, but when finished it only produced a 4KB "SEQ" type file that wasn't executable. Maybe it just bugged out and I should try it again--I'm not necessarily surprised that it didn't work with my program, but the BASIC program itself is 37KB so you'd think the compiled file would be more than 4K after all the compiling time/disk access. Speaking of compiling time, that's an excellent idea using an emulator to really speed up the process. Actually, I had no idea compiling could take so long--I had only used Blitz! 128 up to this point, and that took about 1 minute to compile my code. Data Becker took probably about 10-15 minutes and PETSpeed even longer. And this is a relatively small program.
Anyway, I'm just glad to have a compiler that works with my code. And it's good to have as many compilers as possible considering how they can be finicky about different things. Funny how out of the three main compilers mentioned, each of us has success with a different compiler and not the others! I may find that I have to move on to another compiler as my program progresses, depending on the way I code it. So I should learn the intricacies of each.
« on: May 22, 2012, 02:10 AM »
Thanks guys. Had no idea it could be so trial and error with compiling BASIC 7 programs. Is it like this for BASIC 2 as well, or are C64 BASIC compilers generally more accurate? I'm thinking I might want to rewrite my code in C64 mode BASIC if it helps with compiling. But first I'm definitely going to give those compilers a shot. At first glance I'd say PETspeed 128 looks promising, though it's too bad it didn't work out for your simulation Hydrophilic (which by the way sounds amazing (downloading that later))--I'm still going to give PETspeed a shot cause you never know. And on that note I'd like to try Data Becker C128 Compiler, only where exactly is it attached (couldn't find a link)?
I was really hoping it would work... save me the trouble of writing a compiler
Wow, I wouldn't ask THAT of you! Worst case scenario, I'll just rewrite it for BASIC 2 (assuming that will work anyway if all else fails). I'm actually thinking about doing the graphics differently now anyway--by BSAVING the result of my current program and BLOADing it in the new one.
« on: May 21, 2012, 03:22 AM »
Hey everyone. Been a while since I've logged on here...my account must have been purged; I needed to re-register. Though I never left in spirit!
Been side tracked by all sorts of things but I always keep coming back to the Commodore! Hope everyone is well.
I'm back to working on my synthesizer program that many of you gave me programming advice on a few years back. Actually, it was interesting for me to go through my old posts as I see that I've come full circle--really, I'm still interested in doing all the things that I had originally planned; incorporating the light pen as a control device and such. Still haven't picked up any Machine Language yet--actually I was kind of daunted looking at the introduction to ML in the Programmer's Reference Guide. So for starters, I'd like to see if compiling my BASIC 7 program will give me adequate speed.
But I'm having the same problem as I had when I tried a couple years back. The compiled program doesn't work properly, only now I think I've narrowed the problem down. I'm using Blitz! 128 and it will compile really simple programs just fine (like ones that just display a bunch of text on the screen using PRINT). However, my main program that uses specialized BASIC 7 graphic commands doesn't work when compiled. I had drawn out a panel using a combination of DRAW and BOX commands. At the top of the screen I used a CHAR command to display some text, "please wait...loading". In the compiled program, the text shows up at the top of the screen as it should, but no graphics. Anyone know why this would be? Is there another compiler I should use that would translate BASIC 7 commands into their proper ML equivalent?